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Ask Bondi Vet - Tips on getting a puppy to be comfortable home alone?

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hello and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance. My name's Pete Lazer, joined today by one of our wonderful Bondi vets in Dr. Danni. This is your place to get all of your pet questions answered and today we’ve got a question from Kate, Kate writes;

“Any tips on getting a puppy comfortable to be home alone?”.

Ida is three months old and when we go out she’s in the laundry or bathroom with activities, toys, her bed and food and water.But she’s always very distressed and destructive. It’s not all day but maybe two hours at the most whilst I get the shopping. No doubt Kate’s not alone in this situation.

Dr Danni Dusek - Absolutely! Now it is possible that this behaviour is normal puppy behaviour, but certainly little Ida could be suffering from a little bit of separation anxiety, whilst your out and about. What I would suggest is trying some behaviour modification techniques. So the way to go about that is with your pup you need to train your pup to be able to sit, lie down and relax and relax on a mat or a bed, somewhere where they are happy and initially you are going to be right there with them and what you want to try and do is increase the distance of which you can step away from the pup and keep them relaxed and then increase the periods of time. So eventually you’ll be able to leave the house and they’ll be nice and calm and relaxed on their little mat. So it does take a lot of persistence but hopefully you’ll be able to get there

Pete Lazer - And the reward is not doubt there at the end. What about space confinement, that sounds like a tricky one.

Dr Danni Dusek - Sure it is tricky, particularly when you have a puppy and you want to keep them safe and all your belongings safe. What I would suggest, incase it is a bit of confinement issue, being in the laundry. It might be worth trying something like a little puppy playpen you now in a bigger room so that they don't feel quite so enclosed and they can see out, but they don't have the same issues of you know getting into mischief. So that might be something to try as well.

Pete Lazer - And what about some general tips just for anyone whos out there who may have the same problems as Kate?

Dr Danni Dusek - Certainly, so I guess other general advice for any pup is you want to make sure that they are getting plenty of exercise. If they are really, really worn out and you want to head out they are likely to just want to have a nap, so that would be ideal wouldn’t it. Otherwise obedience training can be great to stimulate them, the food dispensing toys are a great way to keep them preoccupided. So there are a few things that can help sort of keep them satisfied whilst you are out.

Pete Lazer - Fantastic tips, thanks Danni. If you’ve got any questions just get onto the Facebook page of Bondi Vet or our website BondiVet.com/Questions. Of course if you have any specific issues make sure you check them out with your vet. We’ll be back again soon, bye for now.

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.